We are in the midst of a technological revolution. It’s safe to say Apple led the charge in the constantly adapting industry. The iPhone was a game changer. Suddenly you had a computer in your pocket that looked cool, and was easy to use. The Apple App Store was loaded with software that was once beyond our imagination. Each generation gains on the advances in technology and becomes more difficult to impress. But today, there is one company raising eyebrows and sparking intrigue.
In a sedentary world where people are stuck sitting at their desks, Joel Heath is out there trying to set the world in motion. Founder and CEO of FluidStance, Joel is an entrepreneur who never stops moving. He is the type of guy who would jump off a cliff and figure out how to build wings on his way down. He has the mentality to figure out how to make something happen no matter what obstacles arise.
After 25 years in development, Santa Barbara now has an ingenious place where its community can learn, play, and grow together. The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, or MOXI, is changing the way we look at learning institutions. It is a 21st century museum that teaches the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity through experiences with science, technology, engineering, arts and math. MOXI is a flagship for what museums could be like, and Dr. Robin Gose is the new captain. Her goal with MOXI is to steer the Santa Barbara community to have a greater appreciation for science and technology, encourage more question askers and create more well-rounded citizens. But most importantly, Robin’s goal is to show people how to have fun with learning. As her own kids would say, “it’s time to play science.”
Phil Strong is a guy that you want on your team. However, you may not know you need him until you understand what he does, how good he is at it, and that it’s people like him who keep the digital world going ‘round.
A life-long successful entrepreneur, Phil has built and sold a handful of tech companies. “I’m comfortably scared all the time,” he says. “I know that it can be really good, or really bad [he chuckles]. I think being an entrepreneur is about being pretty honest with yourself about what your customers do and don’t want.”
Several years ago, after clocking about 1.5 million miles of air travel, Phil decided he wanted to spend more time with his family, and direct his talents to the vibrant tech startup community in Santa Barbara. So, after a stint consulting for some great innovators in town, he was ready to start his newest company Zymbit, with the aim to create value in the emerging field of the Internet of Things (IoT). “I’ve spent much of my career automating factories, and now it is time to automate our planet for the betterment of mankind,” Phil says.
Securing a cool future.
Phil started his new venture by tackling the global challenge of making machines more energy and operationally efficient. He chose commercial refrigeration systems to start with, because, as he explains, “The largest single consumer of electrical energy on our planet is cooling, in the form of refrigeration and air conditioning. Together that accounts for about 30 percent of electricity consumption.”
Interestingly, what began as an effort to save resources has also migrated into the realm of cyber security, which may seem like a pivot, but in fact follows a very natural and logical trajectory.
“i’ve spenT much of my career auTomaTing facTories, and now iT is Time To auTomaTe our planeT for The beTTermenT of mankind”
What does Zymbit do?
Zymbit is comprised of a talented team of five innovators who started out with the goal of providing “healthcare” for machines in the form of data and services. The technology they have developed acts like an EKG for key parts of a machine. (Just so we’re all on the same page, an EKG is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart.) Zymbit technology monitors the health of a machine over time, building a record of what a healthy machine looks like. Using that information, the technology can then look for anomalies and predict hiccups in the system, and automatically call for a service tech before catastrophe strikes.
Here’s a hypothetical example of one such catastrophe using one of Zymbit’s actual local clients and the kind of fiasco anyone with a sweet tooth will certainly relate to: think full meltdown of Rori’s ice cream refrigerators due to an unforeseen glitch. Beyond devastation among the customer base, this could very likely mean a loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Zymbit technology can prevent such costly calamities.
The second thing that Zymbit does is make things secure. The Zymbit team understands that the data their technology produces needs to be kept secure and private, so they build security right into their products. Phil says, “With 50 billion things predicted to be connected to the Internet by 2020, each one of those things is a potential security threat when they are connected to the Internet.”
Things and connected devices become access points into one’s business or home and can easily become hosts for malware. For the IoT to really flourish, operators need to be able to trust the devices and the data they generate. “It’s critical to build trust into the system,” says Phil, “and it’s really hard to do that well.”
To make it easy for other developers to make their things secure, Zymbit is now selling its security technology as a standalone product in the form of a ‘trust module’ and security monitoring services. Phil says they’ve already shipped this technology out to a few big companies who are trying it on for size.
Part of the reason Zymbit has been able to produce this effective technology in a relatively short amount of time is thanks to its relationship with local hardware company and Impact Hub sponsor Laritech, which designs and builds hardware for Zymbit’s software. Laritech put the coworking space on Phil’s radar.
Being at Impact Hub has provided Zymbit further opportunities for collaboration, which they are excited about. For example, he plans to work with Drew Cuddy at Satellite, Impact Hub’s forthcoming café and wine bar, for which Zymbit’s technology could be utilized to monitor and maintain optimal refrigeration temperatures for Satellite’s wine selection.
Whatever Phil’s collaborations and future projects may be, we can count on Zymbit to keep our most treasured technological devices secure and growing smarter every day.
For More Information Visit : zymbit.com